Seven Crypto Fraudsters Indicted in Taiwan After Alleged $51M Scam

Seven crypto investment managers have been charged with fraudulent activity, after allegedly defrauding 1,000 investors out of $51 million.

Taiwan’s authorities have indicted seven people for operating a fraudulent cryptocurrency investment scheme, media outlet FocusTaiwan reported on Friday, citing local prosecutors.

A 47-year-old man surnamed Lin and six unnamed accomplices were arrested in June 2018. After examination of witness testimonies, bank accounts and other evidence, the individuals have now been officially charged with violating Taiwan's Banking and Multi-Level Marketing Supervision acts. The exact penalties and punishment the criminals will face are yet to be revealed.

According to the Investigation Bureau under the country’s Ministry of Justice (MJIB), the group has allegedly defrauded 1,000 investors out of $51 million since October 2016. The victims are from Fuzhou, Shanghai and Wuxi cities, as well as Pingtan County in Fujian Province, the indictment showed. The prosecutors further revealed that the scheme’s head, Lin, established an office in Taichung's West District. The name of the dodgy offering has not been disclosed.

Reportedly, the criminals were luring investors with promises of guaranteed yearly returns of up to 355%. However, participants started suspecting there was a problem with the system in February 2018 when their monthly return started becoming inconsistent before ceasing completely in April the same year.

Taiwan has been looking into cryptocurrency regulations to curb money laundering. Last year, the country’s central bank governor, Yang Chin-long, stated that cryptocurrencies lack a trust element due to their predisposition to volatility and appeal to wrongdoers.

Despite Yang’s negative stance, Taiwan has so far only cracked down on anonymous cryptocurrency transactions. Moreover, last year an official underscored that Taiwan would not follow the examples of China and South Korea by instituting an outright ban on crypto activity.

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